Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, has criticised the fact that inspections carried out by Agriculture Inspectors on behalf of the Department of Agriculture seem to be much more rigorous for small farmers, compared to larger farmers.

Deputy Ó Cuív commented: “For example, where Agricultural Inspections are carried out for herds of less than twenty bovines, the entire herd is tested. However, on a farm with forty bovines, only three quarters of the herd is tested, and on a farm of eighty one cattle, a sample of a half of the herd is tested.

“It would, therefore, seem that smaller herds are subject to a much more rigorous and stricter inspection regime than larger herds. There also seems to be no explanation as to why such a policy is in place.

“It would seem logical that the same proportion of all herds would be tested, big and small and that small farmers would not be subject to a more rigorous regime than larger farmers.

“I am calling on the Minister for Agriculture to clarify the inspection protocols in place at his Department.”